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Celeb Tweets May Constitute Breach of Election Law

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2011.10.25 14:10 Mwave Oh, MiJung

As many prominent figures and celebrities are continuing to deliver messages to encourage people to vote via social networking services prior to the Seoul mayor election, the question has been raised on whether encouraging people to vote is a breach of election laws.

The National Election Commission (NEC) announced on October 24, “A person who can be seen as promoting a certain candidate by just urging people to cast votes is not allowed to do encourage voting on election day."

Celeb Tweets May Constitute Breach of Election Law

So if well-known entertainers, including Kim Je Dong, Kim Yeo Jin and Lee Hyori encourage their fans to vote on election day (which is tomorrow, Oct 26, by the way), would they be in violation of election law?

Evidently, it′s a very case-by-case issue.

An official of the NEC told enews over the phone on October 25, “While election campaigns are carrying out, [celebrities] are allowed to put up messages encouraging [people] to vote, regardless of which candidate they support, but things are different on election day. If a person, who belongs to a certain candidate camp, encourages voters to cast a ballot, it constitutes a violation of election law.”

In the case of Kim Je Dong, who supports software tycoon Ahn Cheol Soo, who in turn, is backing pan-opposition candidate Park Won Soon, can encourage voting on the day of election without infringing on election law as long as he doesn’t mention a certain candidate’s name.

But things are different with Kim Yeo Jin because she has been openly supporting Park Won Soon and even acted as a one-day spokesperson for Park Won Soon. If she posts messages urging citizens to vote, that would be a violation of election law. Therefore, she′d be better off not posting any messages related to the election tomorrow.

Then how about Lee Hyori, who recently re-tweeted writer Lee Oi Soo’s message to encourage the youth to vote?

Things get complicated because Lee Oi Soo (not Lee Hyori) is Park Won Soon′s supporter. The official of the NEC said, “If the writing re-tweeted by Lee Hyo Ri includes the name of Lee Oi Soo or his ID, it might be problem. But if not, there would be no problem. In addition, the writing was not tweeted on election day, so there is no problem."

“We’ll carefully look into writings, which have possibility of violating election law, according to whether the writer belongs to a certain candidate’s camp or not,” added the official.

Photo credit: Kim Je Dong’s and Lee Hyori’s Twitter

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Lee Hyori 20111025 Kim Je Dong 20111025
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